One pot pasta ‘n’ sauce

20130701-230900.jpgI did something crazy the other night. I put spaghetti, vegetables, herbs and oil in a pan. I turned on the heat, and I cooked them up. All together. In one pan. As I anxiously waited for it to cook, every kitchen instinct in my body was screaming what the hell are you doing? It felt so wrong.

And yet, once cooked – after I’d relaxed enough to add sufficient water for the pasta to actually cook – it turned out to be a surprisingly right. Think pasta ‘n’ sauce a la the kind you usually buy in a jar, but MUCH better. Nothing fancy, just a simple, quick, wholesome dinner. Throw in a bit of cheese or tuna at the end, and you have yourself a tasty and nutritious dish.

This recipe came about because a while ago, M decided he wanted to eat less meat (a quiet campaign I have been waging for a while. Win). The tomatoes here are glorious at the moment, so I went on the hunt for some new weekday meat free suppers that would make best use of them.  And boom. Martha Stewart, via the marvellous Apron Strings Blog, served it up. This is my adaptation of her recipe. I hope you enjoy!

Time needed: 10 mins prep, 10-12 mins cooking

Serves: 4

What you need

350g spaghetti

5-6 ripe tomates

1 large onion

4 cloves garlic

1 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp dried thyme

Handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

1 litre vegetable stock

2 tbsp olive oil

Ground black pepper to taste

How to make it

  1. Put all ingredients into a large sauce pan, and put the lid on.
  2. Bring the contents to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook for around 10 minutes, stirring every so often to ensure the pasta doesn’t stick together and mixes with the other ingredients.
  3. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, it is done. Don’t drain the liquid off – there should be about half an inch left in the pan to keep things saucy.
  4. Season to taste and enjoy.